Stephen Baker

The Numerati
Home - Viewing one post

Wal-mart pushes medical data

December 3, 2008Privacy

Perhaps the biggest frontier for the Numerati is medicine. If they can figure us out as patients, both by our genome and our behavior, they could revolutionize health care. Some of this is scary, of course, which is why people are reluctant to digitize medical data--and why many of us have to scrawl our on a clipboard while waiting for the doctor.

Wal-Mart is in a position to change the dynamic, and the company is busy doing it. Here's the BW story (that I should have linked to a 10 days ago).

 From the story:

The secret to gathering accurate records while preserving patient privacy is in the software. It automatically pulls information from the databases of participating insurers, pharmacies, and other parties, then stores it in password-protected digital files that only the employee can access. Wal-Mart didn't dream up this software system on its own. It's the product of a not-for-profit enterprise called Dossia, funded by major corporations including Intel (INTC), AT&T (T), and Pitney Bowes (PBI), as well as Wal-Mart itself. Each invested $1.5 million in the new company. The goal, says Dossia CEO Colin Evans, is simply "to make health care more efficient." Starting next year, Intel and the other original equity partners plan to implement the service and market it to other companies.

As I've written, today's economic troubles are going to give companies and governments a good reason to push for efficiencies. This will place more of our lives and work into the digital realm-- and produce all sorts of opportunities for the Numerati.

add comment share:

©2020 Stephen Baker Media, All rights reserved.     Site by Infinet Design

Kirkus Reviews -

LibraryJournal - Library Journal

Booklist Reviews - David Pitt

Locus - Paul di Filippo

read more reviews

Prequel to The Boost: Dark Site
- December 3, 2014

The Boost: an excerpt
- April 15, 2014

My horrible Superbowl weekend, in perspective
- February 3, 2014

My coming novel: Boosting human cognition
- May 30, 2013

Why Nate Silver is never wrong
- November 8, 2012

The psychology behind bankers' hatred for Obama
- September 10, 2012

"Corporations are People": an op-ed
- August 16, 2011

Wall Street Journal excerpt: Final Jeopardy
- February 4, 2011

Why IBM's Watson is Smarter than Google
- January 9, 2011

Rethinking books
- October 3, 2010

The coming privacy boom
- August 17, 2010

The appeal of virtual
- May 18, 2010